5 Top Tips for Tackling the United States

The United States of America. It’s one of the biggest and the best countries in the world. Some of the best places to visit in the world can be found in the USA. There’s so much to see and do over there that you’ll most likely never get the same thing if you visit twice.

Like any country, you’re going to find that things work a little different than what you might be used to. Here are a few tips you need to remember when visiting America:



[Image via wikimedia.org]

America is very much a tipping country. Many services expect a little extra when it comes to payment. For example, when buying a beer or alcoholic beverage, it’s customary to add an extra dollar to the bill. In fact, it’s wise to keep a large supply of single dollar bills on hand for tipping. Whilst it is not a legal requirement, it’s a big part of American society, so if you don’t want to offend, consider leaving a little extra at the table.

Sales Tax

Sales Tax

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Speaking of money, you might be pleasantly surprised that everything you buy seems a lot cheaper than you thought it would be.

That is, until you get to the counter, when up to 20% extra can be suddenly added to your total bill! This is sales tax. Unlike other countries where it is automatically included in the price, the US does not add this to the initial price of items. It is only added when you arrive at the checkout. Bear this in mind before you hit the shops.

Use Approved Luggage Locks

TSA Luggage Locks

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Due in part to the actions that occurred on September 11, 2001, US security has been especially tough on travellers. All luggage is rigorously scanned and checked by the Transport Security Administration. If you do not use one of their TSA approved locks, you may find your luggage will be kept behind, delaying you from enjoying your trip. Also, try to refrain from joking about anything bomb or terrorist related in a US airport. Even if meant in jest, you can land in a lot of trouble if overheard.

Remember to drive on the right side on the road

Drive on the Right Side of the Road

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

If visiting from the UK, Japan, Australia or India, you might be surprised to find that the rest of world does not drive on your side of the road. This includes America. They drive on the right side, which may prove a little confusing if you a renting a hire car. Ensure you are comfortable enough with this change before heading onto the highways!

Use Public Transport When Possible

Taxi Cabs in New York City

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

Taxis can be an expensive mode of transport in America. With surcharges, baggage fees, airport fees etc being added to the flat rate. Public transport is often a viable and cheaper alternative. A day or week pass for the trains and buses can save you a lot of money and give you the chance to experience America like most Americans do!

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